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Setting aside the smartphone: two weeks with Samsung’s Galaxy Camera

Setting aside the smartphone two weeks with Samsung's Galaxy Camera

Exploring the world with the hottest cameras and smartphones, I’ve grown accustomed to drawing discreet glances from curious gadget enthusiasts. In Tokyo, it was Canon’s EOS M camera that netted polite peeks. In Hong Kong, it was the Galaxy Note II. From the moment I exposed the striking Galaxy Camera in Bangkok, however, those subtle scans turned into full-on stares, with several courageous passersby even inquiring about the latest Android-based Samsung device dangling from a strap around my wrist.

“Is that a phone or a camera?” Well, it’s certainly not the best camera, nor is it a passable “phone,” but for this early adopter, at least, it was poised to replace both. When Samsung first revealed its Jelly Bean-powered superzoom hybrid at IFA, the challenge became clear — there wasn’t room in my life for two Galaxy gadgets, but a 21x zoom-equipped all-in-one sounded mighty promising. After I finally unpacked it, the 4.8-inch, touchscreen-equipped, 16.1-megapixel shooter didn’t leave my side once during the next two weeks.

It streamed music in the gym, downloaded email on the go, and provided walking directions and historical context as I explored Thailand. But the Galaxy Camera’s impressive zoom also brought me far closer to the action than even the most powerful camera phone, and a micro-SIM from iPhoneTrip enabled instant uploads to Dropbox and Instagram far from the nearest open hotspot. As you may have gathered from our review, the Galaxy Camera wasn’t designed to replace anyone’s smartphone, and with the jumbo footprint and mediocre battery upping the inconvenience factor, could such a device feasibly become your one and only? You’ll find the answer after the break.

Gallery: Samsung Galaxy Camera review

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Filed under: Cameras, Mobile, Samsung

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